The Allianz Football League has returned this weekend.
Here is a roundup from all of the action across all four divisions…
Monaghan claimed back-to-back league wins over Dublin with a 2-13 to 1-13 victory over the All-Ireland champions in Clones today.
Malachy O’Rourke’s men beat the Dubs in Croke Park in the final round of league games last year, and followed it up with an entertaining three-point win over Jim Gavin’s side on home ground today.
The hosts trailed by 1-07 to 0-8 at half-time, with Niall Scully finding the back of the net for the visitors. However, Dublin lost both John Small and Paul Flynn to the sin bin before the interval.
Second half substitutes Conor McManus and Stephen O’Hanlon made a huge difference for Monaghan, with the former converting four frees, and the latter finding the back of the net on his league debut.
O’Hanlon then set up Shane Carey for the Ulster county’s second goal, and Monaghan held out for a hugely impressive and deserved victory over the Dubs.
Kerry also made a winning start to their league campaign, beating Tyrone by 0-11 to 0-07 in Killarney in Peter Keane’s first game.
Sean O’Shea – who scored a late point from a sideline reminiscent of Maurice Fitzgerald – was at the heart of a strong display from the Kingdom, who were without key forwards James O’Donoghue and David Clifford.
Tyrone didn’t register their first score until Niall Morgan’s 28th minute free, and Kerry led by 0-05 to 0-01 at the break. The Red Hand improved after the interval, but Kerry kept things tight to take maximum points from their opening game.
Mayo overcame Connacht rivals Roscommon by a point on Saturday night in a 1-08 to 1-07 scoreline in difficult conditions at MacHale Park.
James Horan’s team recovered from a four point deficit at half time to edge a dogged encounter which saw Roscommon’s Ultan Harney sent off in the dying minutes.
Brian Reape’s excellent debut goal for Mayo proved crucial, and Shane Killoran’s stoppage time goal proved to be no more than a consolation for the Rossies.
Galway beat newly promoted Cavan by 0-13 to 0-11 in a tight match in Salthill. The Tribesmen had two players sent to the sin bin, and the visitors were reduced to 12 men at one stage in the second half due to three sin bin offences.
The teams were locked at five points apiece at half time, but five unanswered points for Galway in a crucial second half period was enough to seal a home win.
Meath made a strong start to their league campaign with a 0-15 to 1-08 victory over Tipperary in Navan.
Mickey Newman registered seven points for the Royals, with James McEntee, Shane McEntee, and Donal Keogan also impressing against a Tipp team missing talismanic forward Michael Quinlivan.
Conor Sweeney’s penalty was the only goal of the game, and his spot kick in the latter stages of the first half resulted in a 0-7 to 1-02 scoreline at half time.
Tipperary managed just three points from open play, and Andy McEntee will take plenty of positives from Meath’s deserved win.
Donegal made a winning start to life in Division 2 after suffering relegation from the top tier last season. Declan Bonner’s team won by 0-16 to 0-13 in Ennis against Clare, who pushed the Ulster county all the way.
Michael Langan chipped in with four points for the visitors, who kicked 11 wides in total, while David Tubridy notched 0-6 for Clare.
Kildare produced a late comeback to draw 0-14 to 1-11 with Armagh at St. Conleth’s Park. Jimmy Hyland – who scored four points for the hosts – scored a stoppage time free to rescue a point against the visitors.
Armagh led by five at one stage in the second half after Stefan Campbell’s goal, but Cian O’Neill’s home side dug deep in the closing stages to secure a share of the spoils.
Fermanagh also needed a stoppage time point to salvage a 0-8 to 1-05 draw against Cork in Enniskillen.
Cork led by 0-4 to 0-1 after a dour first half, and the visitors looked on course for an away win after Matthew Taylor’s impressive 60th minute goal.
The Rebels lost Ruairi Deane to a second yellow in the 45th minute, and had to settle for a point after Conall Jones’ dramatic stoppage time point following a mark.
Louth were beaten by 1-08 to 0-09 at home by Leinster rivals Longford in Drogheda.
The hosts lost midfielder Conor Early to two black cards in just the 20th minute, and fellow midfielder Tommy Durnin received two yellows in the second half.
Robbie Smyth scored 1-2 for the visitors, and three late points from Joseph Hagan, Darragh Doherty and Nigel Rabbitte secured a victory for the visitors, who were without eight Mullinalaghta players.
Newly promoted Carlow comfortably beat Sligo by 1-11 to 0-7 at Netwatch Dr Cullen Park.
The Leinster county were full value for the victory, with Sligo registering just one point from play.
Westmeath’s brilliant comeback resulted in a 0-13 to 0-12 win away to Offaly.
The Lakesiders trailed by eight points with 17 minutes left, but scored 10 of the final 11 points to seal a valuable victory, with Kieran Martin grabbing the winning point.
On Saturday night, Laois were 2-15 to 1-12 winners against Down in Newry.
The Ulster side led by 0-09 to 0-05 at the break, but a strong second half showing from Laois sealed an excellent win on the road.
Wicklow beat Waterford by 1-07 to 0-09 at Fraher Field on Saturday evening, with goalkeeper Mark Jackson scoring the winner from a late free.
Leitrim thrashed Wexford 3-15 to 0-11 at Páirc Sean MacDiarmada, with Ryan O’Rourke racking up a superb 2-7 on the day.
Derry beat Ulster rivals Antrim 1-10 to 1-09, despite Enda Lynn missing a late penalty at Corrigan Park.
Shane McGuigan had scored a penalty for Derry earlier in the game, while Paddy McBride grabbed the goal for the visitors.
Limerick also beat London by 0-11 to 0-10 in Ruislip.
David is the editor of The Season Ticket.
He is a qualified journalist, and a long-suffering Meath and Liverpool supporter.